Massimo Brebbia

Jun 30, 2021

3 min read

How to find your thoughts

When I need to think about anything, where are my thoughts, where are coming from and what affects their quality?

I want to talk of this because it is a subject touched by Stefano Todesci, Theatre Director and Public Speaking Coach, during a conversation and by my daughter.

I have always considered my mind like computer hardware with an unknown peripheral where the feeling resides. To operate it needs software, indeed a newborn is equipped only with a Bios making him capable of basic functions.

This is where the architecture of the software is very important, we all know the different approaches of Microsoft versus Apple, Linux, or whatever OS you like. They more or less deliver the same result, but the way they “think” is different.

Our families load the basic software, imprinting of constants and values that will affect all our next computations for the years to come. School and society complete the package with multiple add-ons.

Unfortunate in this process some system errors are generated.

How many times in front of an audience or a person you felt uncomfortable? I did and it was stopping me from communicating, but I have patched the issue.

I have identified five filters that should have not been there affecting my capability to create free thoughts.

1) The “Critical” filter

This is the voice you hear telling you not to expose yourself, this is a stupid thought, what others are going to think about you.

This filter is a gift from your family, your friends and teacher that have dealt with you with superficiality addressing your performances as being performance rather than objective results. You are a bad painter, rater than your paint is not good, you are a slow runner, rather than you run is not fast. You learnt the outcome of your performances affects the perception of your being.

2) The “What if” filter

Another gift of the environment around you, the fear of the future. This is a direct result of the Critical filter because it has happened in the past, it will happen again. But in reality, nothing has happened in the past, you have just been wrongly imprinted. you have not failed, you failed a task.

3) The “Complacency” filter

I think in line with the others to avoid confrontation. This is possibly the most common filter, but as soon as you acknowledge the others too are wrong and do make mistakes, you are free from this. Where is it coming from? Cant you be like any other kid? Why you have to behave and think differently? What is wrong with you?

4) The fairness distortion filter.

We have been taught we should things have to be measured based on fairness and equality when in reality things often don’t work that way. An example? I do not help that person because it is not right, I should help everyone if I help him and I cannot. Be aware this is also the filter that sets expectations on others. I did this, it is fair others do…

5) The Entitlement filter.

It is a filter that causes you to believe that the rules that apply to others should not apply to you. And again this is not the case and it is another educational heritage, a gift from your family and social position. Everyone is in the queue but I am in the rush I can take over. There are people waiting for a table, but I know the owner…

Of all the filters Entitlement is possibly the most distorting. The word in itself contains I and ME.